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The Vinegar Cafe

Some of the house-made fruit vinegars at Marusan

Vinegar is not my favorite thing. Not even close. So I was kind of lukewarm on the idea of going to a café where the house specialty was drinks based on fruit vinegar.

How could I have been so wrong?

The drinks were so delicious, I’ve been back to Marusan several times since, just to try the different concoctions. Sweet and sour, the intense flavors of the house-made fruit vinegars are rounded out with just the right amount of sparkling water and ice. They were especially lifesaving before summer turned to fall.

And the flavor combos! Apple vinegar with fresh ginger. Yuzu citrus vinegar and mint. Rose hip, apple and peach vinegar. The biggest surprise was the green shiso and black vinegar drink. I’d only encountered green shiso as edible garnish on my sashimi plate (it’s the heart-shaped leaf with the serrated edge) so I was surprised at how sweet and tangy it was when turned into vinegar. Nearly all the combos were available in both non-alcoholic and cocktail forms, and there were also some interesting beer plus fruit vinegar drinks.

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

7 thoughts on “The Vinegar Cafe Leave a comment

    • Thanks for passing that along! I’d still think “ick!” if I hadn’t tasted vinegar drinks for myself, but now that I know how great they are, I might have to seek some of these out next time I’m in NYC.

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